Since 2014, online food ordering and delivery services have grown at a 300 percent faster rate than dine-in sales.

So creating an online presence for your restaurant might not be such a bad idea.

Shopify can be a great tool for getting your business online, but does it suit some business types better than others and how do restaurant-style businesses fare on the platform?

Is Shopify Right For Restaurants?

An online restaurant

Yes, Shopify is right for restaurants, and the site has some restaurant-specific tools and third-party apps to help you take orders online and arrange delivery.

Shopify has everything you need to quickly begin selling food and beverages online.

You can schedule pickups and deliveries, and customize a theme to fit with your restaurant’s branding.

Shopify even has a specific theme for restaurants called Express.

This theme has a mobile-first design, quick buy features, and everything needed to get your restaurant online and looking professional.

Shopify also has its own app store to provide added functionality to your site as you need it.

For example, there are dedicated apps for displaying customer testimonials and scheduling deliveries.

What Is Shopify?

Just in case you’re exploring options for getting your restaurant online and aren’t too sure what Shopify is, here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that was designed to help people set up an online store and sell their products across multiple channels.

It can be used offline too, and it provides the basics needed for running an e-commerce business, even if you are quite inexperienced.

Shopify is essentially a facilitator; they make it easier to sell products on the internet.

They help you to create a virtual storefront, showcase your products, and engage with your customers.

They will also help to manage payments.

They provide analytics to help you make better selling decisions and offer some great customer support to their users – which means if you want to put your restaurant on there but you don’t know how to do it, you’re in luck because you can expect plenty of guidance!

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What Are The Advantages Of Putting My Restaurant On Shopify?

You might be wondering if it’s worth putting your restaurant on Shopify.

After all, once things get back to normal, people will probably resume their usual dining habits and just come into the restaurant.

However, that may still be some time away, and a strong online presence can really boost your business.

Having an online presence makes it easier for customers to find you, learn about your offerings, and tell others about their experience with you.

It is much easier for a customer to be able to link someone else to your Shopify store than to bring them to your restaurant, so you may get more converts.

You can build a great brand using Shopify’s tools, and you can even offer gift cards and the option for diners to leave tips – so Shopify is good at providing the options a restaurant needs.

Key Considerations Before Putting Your Restaurant On Shopify?

Before putting your restaurant on Shopify, you should consider how your customers are going to receive the food, what type of payment options you will offer and how you plan to get traffic to your online restaurant.

Delivery And Store Pickup

The first thing you need to think about is how customers will get their product.

After all, you aren’t going to be shipping your meals out to your buyers via a mail carrier.

When putting a restaurant on Shopify, the idea is usually that the customer will drop in to pick the food up or that you will deliver it to them.

You need to give these options or make it clear which is on offer.

Shopify has a Shopify Local Delivery app, so if you can drop food off, you can use this to create delivery zones and update order information.

If you’re only offering pickup, you are able to notify customers when their orders are ready and verify that things are in stock.

Accepting Payments

Most of the time (depending on your country), Shopify will handle the payment side of things for you, which is great.

You won’t have to mess around with card security or different payment options; Shopify will deal with that.

Branding And Marketing

You also need to think about the look and feel of your restaurant to make sure your online presence matches your offline branding.

Fortunately, Shopify offers lots of themes that you can customize to suit your needs and make your business feel coherent.

It offers marketing options, too, with Shopify Email making it easy to start a marketing campaign and raise customer awareness, and the options to offer sales/discounts to your customers.

How Will I Get Customers To My Online Restaurant?

You should start out by creating social media accounts, (Instagram and Facebook should do initially.)

Try to build up a following and organic sales before you consider any type of paid advertising.

You’ll achieve this by being active on social media and trying to create interesting content that has the potential to go viral.

There is a lot you can do to build your online presence but it’s important to think outside of the box.

Create some delicious or wacky food creations and show them off on your social media channels.

Create healthy versions of known junk food and make them look mouthwatering.

Run some food giveaways among your followers to get them engaged with your brand and help spread the word.

Over time, sales will increase and you can look at paying for ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google search once you’re already finding success.

What Other Options Do I Have For Getting My Restaurant Online?

Although Shopify is one of the best-known, there are many other ordering and point of sale systems to help you get your restaurant set up online.

Three of the most popular of these platforms are MenuDrive, ToastPOS, and ChowNow.

These systems will allow customers to browse your menu on the internet, select the options they want, and pay for their pick-up or food delivery online.

For most of these systems, you’ll need your own preexisting website or app to incorporate them into.

But if you don’t already have a website for your restaurant, Shopify may be the best one to go with because it is an all-in-one solution.

You could also build your own website from scratch using Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress, but this option will cost you either a large time or financial commitment to get set up.

Final Thoughts

All in all, while Shopify may not have been designed for restaurants in the first place, they have very successfully adapted their platform to suit a restaurant’s business, and they offer a range of useful tools to ensure a restaurant can serve its customers as easily as it would through a dedicated site.

If you’re looking to take your restaurant to the online space – and you almost certainly should be – Shopify is a great place to do it!